rflong: (Dogmatix)
( Mar. 20th, 2009 10:41 am)
Really annoys me.

Dora - loses her way « PinkStinks: the campaign for real role models

Let's face it, Dora isn't perfect, but at least there's problem solving while climbing mountains and reading maps. At least she sets out to achieve something. Yes, sometimes as a princess. And there's nothing wrong with that either. Be a princess by all means. But be one with a brain.

I am sad. Really sad. Yes, I call my daughter Principessa, but nothing on this earth will stop her attacking her brother with his own lightsabers while wearing her crown and frilly dress. (We have tried to stop her. Kind of)

We have loved Dora, all of us, for a very long time. She's no Lola, but that's okay. I really don't want to see Dora glammed up, thanks very much.

rflong: (Iz You Drunk Again?)
( Feb. 17th, 2009 12:37 pm)
I have my 2nd round edits for Soul Fire, as well as a number of promo things to finish as this day next week (24th) The Scroll Thief releases. Lots and lots and lots to do.

But not this afternoon/evening.

This afternoon/evening, I am going to Chapters to the Neil Gaiman/Amanda Palmer event. Yay! I'm such a big kid about this. I hardly ever get to go out, especially not immediately after (er... okay, during really) work. [livejournal.com profile] e_w_h  and the munchkins are coming too (I think), although its possible we will have to take turns scooting them off to the kids books section if they get rowdy. That's the plan, anyway. Fingers crossed they cooperate. I will be offering pretty hefty bribes alongside some pretty hefty threats.

So, I will have to fill you in tomorrow. Excited squee!

And then of course, I really have to get down to some actual work!!!

rflong: (Default)
( Dec. 8th, 2008 11:29 am)
I am still alive.


Nothing serious. Just most of Christmas shoved into four days - [livejournal.com profile] e_w_h  's departmental party, my work party, a huge party for the kids with Santa and the Messiah for all (sing-along Messiah, what could be more Christmassy than that?)

Sooooooooooo tired........

This week is relatively calm with the brief hysteria of THE SCHOOL PLAY (in which himself is an elf - yes, the Genius will be armed with a hammer) on Thursday and the possibility of [livejournal.com profile] e_w_h  and I running away for a day on Wednesday to shop and be grown-ups, and go into shops that might contain breakable objects or small bells.

And maybe a very nice French restaurant.

Stay tuned.

I have been quiet for a few days. Well, there's been a lot going on. We had a social life (or what approximates a social life for us) this weekend. And then, on Monday, I had a tummy bug. Felt dreadful.

Until lunchtime when all thoughts of my sick stomach were rudely driven from me by a phone call from my 7yo son's school.

He's got a bell stuck in his ear.

Excuse me? A what?

A bell. A tiny bell from a jester pencil topper, which rings beautifully and is no more than 5 mm in diameter. In his ear. Stuck.

They can't get it out. Can we take him to a doctor?

I sat in the car and looked at the lunch I went out to buy that was the only thing I felt I would be able to hold down. Then I rang [livejournal.com profile] e_w_h  and asked him to do it. Yes, I completely wimped out and decided I couldn't handle it today. I have a wonderful husband who listened to the tone of near-nervous breakdown in my voice and agreed to go.

So, I rang our GP to see if they could see him. Surgery was full but the secretary said she would fit him in. I also rang the local hospital to see if they would be able to take him as I didn't want them to have to cross the city to the children's hospital. Yes, they said, we could bring him there. It's funny though. When you tell someone your son has a bell stuck in his ear, no matter how hard they try, and how professional they attempt to be, they cannot avoid the giggle buried in their voice. "Of course *snort*, yes, bring him him *snigger*"

The GP couldn't get it out so rang the local hospital who then said they didn't have the equipment from the sound of it, (I know - its just begging for jokes. Bear with me.) so he ended up on the way to the children's hospital afterall where apparently they were brilliant. The nurse held his head, [livejournal.com profile] e_w_h  held his legs, an ambulance man held the light and the doctor wielded the forceps.

All was well. He came home. I asked "Why?" I mean WHY do you put a bell in your ear?

"I wanted to see how far it would fall."

*jawclunksonfloor* Oh.. em... okay... good move LogicBoy!

This is where things get surreal. Or rather, where things grow surreal  with the telling.

He went back to school yesterday. About 11am I got a phone call from his best friend's mum. The friend came home the previous night to tell a story of how there was a struggle over the pencil and one of the bells flew off, and lodged itself so deeply in my son's ear that he had to be rushed to hospital where he was going to have to have brain surgery to have it removed and would be deaf and have to wear one of those thingies behind his ear forever!

In fairness, she did assume it wasn't quite that serious but wanted to check he was okay.

I went to pick him up at school yesterday whereupon several small children surrounded me, asking if it was true that THREE people had to hold him down while the doctor removed the bell?


*sigh* I think I need a rest just retelling it...

rflong: (The Wolf's Sister)
( Sep. 15th, 2008 12:02 pm)
Things I have discovered this morning: Vistaprint does not make things easy for anyone.


Great weekend

I met a writing friend in Dublin on Saturday at the wonderful Epicurean Food Hall. We had hot chocolate and talked for almost 2 hours! My throat was sore when I got home so I have a suspicion as to who did most of the talking! :D

On Sunday we took the kids to see Swan Lake at the National Concert Hall, performed by the Russian National Ballet. Wonderful production! E_W_H won tickets on the radio. These were central seats in the front row of the balcony. We chanced our arm and all went in, managing to pick up two additional seats which were more or less the front of the stalls, almost central. Armed with a normally talkative child each we split up. I took the beloved son up to the balcony while E_W_H and darling daughter took the stalls. I have to say watching a ballet with an almost 7 year old boy is interesting. I answered lots of questions, such as the usual "Who's he?" and "Why's he doing that?" to the more esoteric "Why aren't they talking?" and my favorite "Why is everyone dancing?!"

Hissing "Because its a ballet!" at him got me a very funny look.


I did a little work on The Wolf's Mate but I am trying to take a bit of a break this week because
(a) I finished the edits for The Scroll Thief and felt like my brain had been fried
(b) my CP Elaina (*waves*) is currently in nightmare edits trying to get a requested ms out to an agent when the characters keep changing the end on her so I'm trying to help on that
and (c) I got The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay on Saturday - the only book that could make me put aside Marion Meade's biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine, if only temporarily. Seriously, both are wonderful books. I normally find biographies very dry (prefer autobiographies) but Meade makes Eleanor and her world come to sparkling life. Her descriptions of processions, banquets and battles are fabulous. But GGK is GGK and after reading the Fionavar Tapestry within a week I am Hooked (yes, with a capital H)

That said I have been scribbling away longhand and Shan and Jeren have reached their first black moment. The first of many I fear. My concern with this story is that it is potentially more her story than his and I don't want to see him relegated to standing around in the background (impressive though his pecs may be). There needs to be a balance. Also at the moment there is far too much standing around talking.

A couple of Moy Tura ideas have started to percolate again, so I hope soon to write some more there as well. But I dont want to push it and have the characters clam up on me again. They're stubborn that way.

eta: I updated the book trailer to include the cover and various helpful suggestions. Almost forgot to embed it!
rflong: (Maggie Cheung Hero)
( Jul. 13th, 2008 10:50 am)
Well, actually the round 2 edits on The Wolf's Sister have already gone back which is cool and really really scary. There wasn't very much the second time around. A couple of things we'd missed and one or two caused by the first round edits. But I got the whole lot done in one sitting which stunned me.

So now I'm at a bit of a loss. I have things to do but I'm a bit bewildered and not quite sure which to plunge into next.

I did write a little of The Wolf's Mate last night though. That's something.

And I have two crits to finish today. Um-hummmm.... better make that a priority this evening! :D

Think we're going to the National Garden Exhibition Centre later on. It would be nice to get out for a walk too. But now the laundry needs to be put away.

ah, the glamour!
In honour of all you US moms! (from Lady Jan on Divas, but I couldn't resist posting it here. You may well have read this before. If you're like me, you've lived each and every one...)

    • You count the number of sprinkles on each kid's cupcake to make sure they are equal.
    • You want to take out a contract on the kid who broke your child's favorite toy and made him/her cry.
    • You have time to shave only one leg at a time.
    • You hide in the bathroom to be alone.
    • Your child throws up and you catch it.
    • Someone else's kid throws up at a party and you keep eating.
    • You consider finger paint to be a controlled substance.
    • You mastered the art of placing food on a plate without anything touching.
    • Your child insists that you read "Once upon a Potty" out loud in the lobby of the doctor's office and you do it.
    • You hire a baby sitter because you haven't been out with your husband in ages, then you spend half the night talking about and checking on the kids.
    • You hope ketchup is a vegetable because it's the only one your child eats.
    • You find yourself cutting your husband's sandwiches into unusual shapes.
    • You fast-forward through the scene when the hunter shoots Bambi's mother.
    • You obsess when your child clings to you upon parting during his first month at school, then you obsess when he skips in without looking back.
    • You can't bear to give away baby clothes--it's so final.
    • You hear your mother's voice coming out of your mouth when you say, "Not in your good clothes."
    • You stop criticizing the way your mother raised you.
    • You read that the average-five-year old asks 437 questions a day and feel proud that your kid is "above average."

That last one is SO familiar! I even double checked the number while watching Enchanted today as 6yo son asked another one! :D
rflong: (Carrying Keptara)
( Mar. 30th, 2008 09:23 pm)
I had great fun at P-Con over the last two days. There were some fab and informative panels, lively debate and much handwaving.

I met up with [personal profile] theladywolf and [personal profile] irishkate and great was the multitude of the squeeing! In front of people and all. I also met a great number of new and fun people, including [personal profile] mizkit(tres cool). Many thanks to [profile] xnamkradand all the others for organising such a wonderful weekend. To paraphrase Neil Gaiman on coming away from my first con, I appear to have found my tribe.

Thanks also to my ever-wonderful husband who childminded and practiced baby-sitter wrangling over the weekend. He came in today for the "How to survive as the partner of a writer" panel which we both really enjoyed. He's just the best really. And Saturday was his birthday too. How's that for above and beyond the call of duty?

The proofs and author bio for Carrying Keptara went back along with a new author bio, which was "entertaining" to write. You know how there are some things you just find bloody difficult to write? This was one. But I had loads of help from my Divas Seeley and Chi. They rock.

And finally, in 6 year old son news, he got a yo-yo from Eddie Rockets (a diner chain) on Friday. It has lights and everything. I asked him what it did and he fixed me with that look (I've mentioned it before; that look, the one which says "why oh lord have you cursed me with such a dense mother?") and said "It Yos".

There you have it. How could I have been so misguided?
rflong: (Elf)


( Mar. 21st, 2008 08:51 am)
I finished editing the first chapter of To Regain Heaven last night. That's it so far. 1 Chapter!!!


On the other hand I added about 1,500 words, so I suppose its my own fault.

On to chapter 2 today then - after dropping the son at camp and entertaining the daughter for a time...

I'm trying to decide if we should go to see Horton hears a who. If they would let me bring the laptop three wouldn't be an argument of course. Obsess much?

Other alternatives are clothes shopping, visiting parents, food shopping, tracking down the final easter eggs that a certain Darling Husband hasn't bought yet, or any combination thereof.

And I would much rather be editing, which probably says a lot about my state of mind at the moment!

rflong: (Meeting on the Turret Square)
( Jan. 23rd, 2008 10:03 pm)
To Regain Heaven now at 36835 words. Just finished Chapter 15.


My little boy just came downstairs. As I ushered him back to bed, I said "It's very late. You should be asleep."

He replied indignantly: "Well, have you seen the time? You should be in bed."

You can't really argue with that, can you?
rflong: (Clock)
( Dec. 27th, 2007 06:22 pm)
I started a new project today. It has a deadline of mid-January and I kind of need to write 2000 words a day pretty consistently to meet that and still have time for... ooh, I don't know, editing? It's paranormal romance and I spent the last two days plotting it out. It isn't going to be long but I am seriously going to need to focus. Which isn't easy at the moment. Yes, I am off work until the 7th BUT my son is off school until the 8th!


Anyway, its called Puzzlebox. And all I have written so far is 924 words!

We're having a party tonight, so that might be about it for today. Day 1, over a thousand words behind... Not a promising start.

I spent the last couple of hours (in and around my lunch break and 45 minutes or so on either side) with my 6 year old son. As half term break begins today, he was off school at 12.30. So I picked him up, did a couple of jobs for work I needed to do - shopping chores and took him to the dreaded golden arches.

We did have an interesting conversation regarding The Dark is Rising and its arrival in cinemas here. He asked if I had read the book and I replied that I had. 

"When?" he asked.

"I read the first one when I was about your age." Ok a lie, a white lie, but he needs to think mummy was a child prodigy. I think it was read to me, which isn't so different to a 6 year old.

He thought about this and then asked, "What? 120,000 years ago."

Thank you darling!

He also expressed some concern about earthquakes and whether we got them in Ireland. I said sometimes, but were usually out at sea and they weren't strong. That lead to a much more worrying question.

"Do we get salamis?"

"Salamis? Like on pizza?" We were in the supermarket afterall. He gave me that look. If you know a kid, you know the look. It's the one that says you've clearly lost your mind, mother, and why do I always have to deal with it?

"No. Salamis. Giant waves!"

I didn't have the heart to correct him. Or the breath (I couldn't stop laughing).


I spent yesterday evening decorating the cake and sorting the party bags for my son's friends. It looks like we will have 17 little guests at Sea Life in Bray this afternoon (!) Here is the cake.

Do you think he likes Harry Potter?

It worked out pretty well using mini sponge rolls, a large sponge roll and two madeira cakes chopped up. I used fondant icing, which I then painted with red food colouring (I couldn't be doing with getting that dark a red through kneading the icing - it always ends up pink and my hands end up scarlet for about a week afterwards. I used a roll for the chimney as well and sweets for the remaining decoration. It's a little wobbly, but I am pleased on the whole.

Have to remember to warn the restaurant about the skewers holding it together!

Yes, it is BP-day and I don't mean British Petroleum! A little nervous. I was still getting messages from other harassed mummies last night and this morning who had only just found the invite their child had stuffed in the bottom of their bag! :D It's not just me!

On a more serious, writerly note, I got a rejection from Leading Edge for The Wolf's Sister today (sniff!) so now have to find another market for a longer piece (I think its about 14k, novelette length anyway). The rejection was very nice though 

"We would like to encourage you to continue writing stories and submitting to Leading Edge. We appreciate quality work and are always looking for talented writers "

So I am focusing on the birthday and trying not to feel sorry for myself.

rflong: (Maggie Cheung Hero)
( Sep. 26th, 2007 06:40 pm)
to let you know that I started fencing lessons last night. It was great fun.

My legs hurt!

(Yes, I am a wimp!)

This evening I have to work out how to make the Hogwarts Express from a swiss roll, some madeira cake, icing and assorted sweets for Friday. (Yes, it's birthday time again. Both of them in the next week and a collective "We can't ask both families over two weekends running). I think I've found a good chocolate cake recipe for Saturday. Who knows what I will do for my daughter next week. Fork out the dosh and buy an extortionate ready made/decorated one - or make Dougal from a swiss roll again! :D

Ah motherhood...
rflong: (Default)
( Aug. 18th, 2007 07:53 am)
House in chaos. Children overly excited. Running behind schedule. Getting nagged on all fronts.

Tyrpical family holiday then!

Talk soon!

The proof for The Lost Rose arrived from Haruah today. It looks pretty good. It should be up fairly soon. I will post a link then.


I've been critting this morning and trying to fend off the advances of the terrible twosome who keep wanting food! So far breakfast has consisted off Weetabix, an apple/banana and yogurts. Aren't kids bottomless pits? Oh no, sorry that should have been "Aren't kids fun?"

Not sure what we are planning for today. Probably some shopping and then time spent with family. I think we'll try to take it pretty easy.
I've been a bit run off my feet for the last few days and probably will be tomorrow as well.

On Friday I took the day off work and headed into town with my husband and son. We looked at potential new cars in the morning and then met up with a gang of our friends. The Chester Beatty library is hosting an exhibition of one of Leonardo DaVinci's notebooks, the Codex Leceister which is mainly notes on water and the moon. It was quite an incredile experience. What struck me was the apparent randomness of the comments, the way in which his mind seemed to leap from one place to the next (according to the commentary of course), each one logical and following naturally but at the same time, enormous leaps. The sketches were incredible - brief and obviously done on the fly, but still beautiful.

We've also been filling the days with the regular chaos of the weekend. I got a migraine yesterday which, as usual, wiped me out for most of the day. We got a nice take away last night.

One of the comedy channels here is showing Drop the Dead Donkey for hours on end. This is a comedy that ran through the 90s which I loved then and is still hillarious now.

I also subbed The Bonny Lass O' Fyvie to an anthology this evening. Fingers crossed.

So, anyway, back to my giggling on the sofa.
rflong: (Default)
( Jun. 20th, 2007 10:24 am)
Yes. Another one of those days. In about 20 minutes I'm running out of here to see the school Ballet recital. 

No really. With 5 year olds.

Think about that for a moment. Mull it over. Cogitate. Get a really clear mental image of events.

Then there's a concert.

Then lunch.

Then a birthday party.

The things all these items have in common are they are related to my son's social life rather than mine. I am the chauffeur again. :D

Work is a bit mental at the moment but good. Everything else is spiraling ever so slightly out of control between organizing holidays, childcare and bills. Never been our best at that, have we?

Got myself back into Liberty Hall again yesterday. Looking forward to doing some work there. Lots of familiar faces, which was lovely. Then I managed to lock myself out while trying to juggle changing my email address and uploading an av. Clever me! Mike came to my rescue, so I am "Officially no longer a twit!"

He also reminded me of a piece we came up with at Hatrack in a series of fairly insane Shakespearian mails/posts. This started when someone posted a fragment of a letter from Shakespeare seeking sponsorship of the Earl of Southampton (or some such notable) and we turning it into a query letter. I wrote a response. It kicked off from there and much enjoyment was has by all. Well, by Mike and I anyway.  I think everyone else just backed away worriedly.

Anyway, the short version is that we (he) has submitted it on our behalf to Poor Mojo's Almanac(k).  It will be interesting to see what happens.

I subbed The Wrecker's Daughter to Shimmer last night. Finger's crossed.

Better go. I have to buy girlie birthday present wrapping paper on the way to the ballet recital! Heaven help me!

rflong: (Default)
( Jun. 1st, 2007 09:15 am)

I have the honour of playing chauffeur to my 5 year old son. He's on a half day from school and is going to a birthday party at 3, so I'm taking a half day from work to do it all. Also I think I could do with the break. The average day runs like this - get up, feeding frenzy (usually dealt with by their dad - he's a star), get dressed, go downstairs, force one of the two children away from the tv long enough to manhandle them into their clothes with various shouts of "turn that off" and "turn that down" and "Leave the cat ALONE!", get my breakfast, feed half of breakfast to one or both children, brush teeth, run out door to work and the peace a quiet of my library! Phew! A normal day is pretty peaceful. Then school pickups, and dinner which is almost exactly the same as the morning but in reverse.

It's no wonder I am exhausted.

The party is in Greystones, which is south of Dublin and a lovely town. While he is at the party I will probably have a wander and do some shopping. I might even *gasp* sit down and have a coffee by myself. But let's not push the fantasy too far here.

Not a lot of writing news. I am trying, with the aid of others, to jump start our "Jumpstart Writers" writing group again. This is a critiquing group which myself and Dude and Elan from Hatrack had going a while back. We're at the recruiting phase. World domination comes later :D

I wish there was some news, but I am basically plodding along on the Irish Mythology novel, currently titled "Moy Tura Echoes", and waiting on the large number of submissions I have out there - everything from my novel "The Penitent" to poetry to short stories. About the only thing I don't have out at the moment is the novelette length story "The Wolf's Sister" which is a Holtlands story (yay!) but needs some polishing. Maybe this weekend. I have a market in mind. It's a bank holiday so Monday is "off" (see above breakfast, but extend to a 3 day stretch)

So, fingers crossed. Deep breath. Here goes the day!




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